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March/April 2021 Issue of Becker's ASC Review

ON THE COVER

15 things to know about total joint replacements and ASCs | 2021
More total joint replacements are migrating to the outpatient and ASC setting following CMS payment updates and more studies showing the procedure can be performed safely in the outpatient setting.

Is the payer outlook bright or dark for ASCs?
While some ASC administrators have seen payers become more accepting of outpatient surgeries and drive cases to the ASC, others report continued challenges in contract negotiations.

Thousands of physicians joined 3 big ASC chains in 2020
Three large ASC companies added physicians in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How 2 independent practices are thriving in an increasingly consolidated environment
In December 2020, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare reached a deal to acquire 45 ASCs from Nashville, Tenn.-based SurgCenter Development for $1.1 billion, intensifying the efforts of major ASC management companies and private equity-backed platforms to drive consolidation in the industry.

What patients pay for 10 common ASC procedures
CMS lists the average amount patients pay for common procedures performed in both ASCs and hospital outpatient departments.

16 physicians exit North Carolina health system
Sixteen physicians have plans to leave Mission Health over the next few months, according to a report in The Transylvania Times.

Spinal fusions and ASCs: 8 notes for 2021
The number of spinal fusions performed in ASCs is growing as more surgeons, patients and payers become comfortable with the procedure in the outpatient setting.

Optum to add 10,000 physicians & 3 other growth strategy details
UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann outlined how Optum, which includes Surgical Care Affiliates, will grow in the coming year during a Jan. 20 earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

10 high-paying cities for private practice orthopedic surgeons
Private practice orthopedic surgeons are paid the most in Savannah, Ga., according to Medscape's online salary comparison tool, the physician salary explorer.

14 key thoughts on bundled payments in spine surgery
Fourteen insights on bundled payments in spine, including CMS changes in 2021 and thoughts from five prominent surgeons:

ASC MANAGEMENT

Stryker sets sights on ASCs for 2021
In 2020, Stryker launched its ASC sales model to leverage the company's portfolio for the outpatient setting.

Delaware ophthalmology practice's COVID-19 business disruption claim dismissed
An Ohio pleas court dismissed Dover-based Eye Specialists of Delaware's COVID-19 business interruption claim against Harleysville Worcester Insurance Feb. 1, Lexology reported.

10 high-paying cities for private practice orthopedic surgeons
Private practice orthopedic surgeons are paid the most in Savannah, Ga., according to Medscape's online salary comparison tool, the physician salary explorer.

Ohio physician gets 2 years in prison for role in opioid scheme: 3 details
Morris Brown, MD, an Ohio-based physician, was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in an illegal opioid distribution scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

15 things to know about total joint replacements and ASCs | 2021
More total joint replacements are migrating to the outpatient and ASC setting following CMS payment updates and more studies showing the procedure can be performed safely in the outpatient setting.

ADMINISTRATOR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

What ASCs with a competitive edge will look like in the coming years: 5 insights
ASCs with the right strategy in place can take advantage of trends in healthcare to accelerate growth in the future.

Biden exec order reopens ACA insurance marketplaces: What ASCs need to know
President Joe Biden issued an executive order to open a special enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace from Feb. 15 to May 15.

What hospitals posting rates online means for ASCs
On Jan. 1, a new regulation requiring hospitals to post payer-specific negotiated rates for 300 services kicked in.

What kills workplace culture in ASCs and how to solve it: 8 administrator insights
From lapses in communication to poor morale among staff, eight ASC administrators told Becker's ASC Review what they feel hurts workplace culture most and how they overcome the challenges.

How will the ASC industry change in the next 3 years? 5 insights
The past year has been challenging for ASCs.

JOINT VENTURES

Proposed OrthoIllinois ASC challenged by Wisconsin health system: 5 details
Beloit Health System appealed OrthoIllinois' plan to develop a surgery center in Beloit, Wis., according to a Feb. 8 Beloit Daily News report.

Optum to add 10,000 physicians & 3 other growth strategy details
UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann outlined how Optum, which includes Surgical Care Affiliates, will grow in the coming year during a Jan. 20 earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

South Carolina surgeon, hospital spar over planned ASCs
Physicians and a hospital in Orangeburg, S.C., both have plans to construct new ASCs, according to a report in The Times and Democrat.

Maryland city won't approve new pain management clinics for 6 months
Havre de Grace, Md., is taking a six-month break from issuing permits for new pain management clinics in the community, the Baltimore Sun reported Feb. 4.

Alabama hospital seeks approval to turn outpatient department into ASC in $4M project
Sheffield, Ala.-based Helen Keller Hospital submitted an application to the state's Health Planning and Development Agency to convert its outpatient department into an ASC, the TimesDaily reported Jan. 28.

GASTROENTROLOGY

CMS colonoscopy quality measure may be inaccurate, study says
Patients who received an outpatient colonoscopy seldom go to the emergency rooms for unplanned complications, and of those who do it's often for reasons unrelated to the procedure, according to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology.

California gastroenterologist sentenced in fraud scheme 'motivated by greed'
A 73-year-old gastroenterologist was sentenced to three years of probation, 1,000 hours of community service and a $2.9 million restitution payment for his involvement in a decadeslong insurance fraud scheme, according to a Jan. 29 report from mynewsla.com.

1st risk factors for early-onset CRC identified, study says
Family history of colorectal cancer, hyperlipidemia, obesity and alcohol consumption could all be risk factors behind developing early-onset colorectal cancer, according to a Jan. 28 study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Who's interested in buying Gastro Health, at what valuation & what it could all mean
Audax Private Equity could sell Miami-based Gastro Health in 2021 after nearly five years of ownership, according to a PE Hub report.

San Diego VA allegedly removed extra tissue from patients for research without consent
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel revealed more details of an incident when the Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System allegedly collected liver tissue from patients without their consent.

ORTHOPEDICS

CMS pay for 10 spine procedures at ASCs vs. HOPDs
CMS' procedure price lookup tool enables users to compare average pay for several procedures in ASCs and hospital outpatient departments.

14 key thoughts on bundled payments in spine surgery
Fourteen insights on bundled payments in spine, including CMS changes in 2021 and thoughts from five prominent surgeons:

New sacroiliac joint device hits US market
Orthopedic device company Sacrix launched the third iteration of SacroFuse, a threaded compression device designed for immediate stabilization of the sacroiliac joint.

How key spine trends are shaping up in 2021
Downward pressure on reimbursement, rising consolidation and rapid outpatient migration are some of the key trends affecting the spine field.

Minimally invasive TLIF more cost-effective than open surgery, study finds
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is more cost effective than the open procedure, according to a study published in The Spine Journal on Jan. 22.

HEALTHCARE NEWS

7 hospital construction projects costing $500M or more
In the last two months, seven hospitals and health systems announced, advanced or completed expansion and renovation projects with price tags of $500 million or more.

WHO team shares first details of probe into pandemic's origin: 3 things to know
After spending time in hospitals, markets and laboratories in Wuhan, China, the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus shared findings from their initial data during a Feb. 9 news conference.

Glenview cuts stake in Tenet
Investment firm Glenview Capital Management has a 15.38 percent stake in Tenet Healthcare after recently selling shares of the Dallas-based company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

AstraZeneca's vaccine may not effectively protect against South Africa variant, small trial shows
Officials in South Africa said Feb. 7 they are halting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford after a small clinical trial showed it doesn’t appear to protect against mild to moderate cases from B.1.351, the variant of the novel coronavirus that is circulating in the country.

Eli Lilly CFO resigns following probe into personal messages
Eli Lilly said Feb. 9 its CFO, Josh Smiley, has resigned after an independent investigation found some of his personal communication with employees to be inappropriate, CNBC reported.

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